$468 to $1,401: What Canadians pay to rent one-bedroom apartments
The data puts Vancouver as the third most expensive city to rent a one-bedroom, behind Yellowknife and Burlington, Ont.
Published Friday, December 16, 2016 3:25PM PST
The amount Canadian tenants shell out each month varies dramatically across the country, with average rates for a one-bedroom apartment ranging from just $469 all the way up to $1,401.
A just-released infographic shows the average rate for a one bedroom was highest in Yellowknife, and lowest in Edmonston, N.B. The data was released by RentSeeker.ca, one of Canada's largest real estate websites, based on information from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
Surprising to most Vancouver-area residents, B.C.'s largest city did not have the highest average, according to RentSeeker's data.
The graphic puts Vancouver as the third most expensive city to rent a one-bedroom ($1,159), behind the Northwest Territories capital and Burlington, Ont., roughly an hour's drive from Toronto.
The average rental rate for a one-bedroom was $912 in Victoria, $1,083 in Richmond, $1,019 in Burnaby and $855 in Surrey. Renters paid an average of $889 in Langley, $744 in Abbotsford, $864 in Kelowna and $911 in Saanich. Up north, the average one-bedroom rate was $809 in Fort St. John.
RentSeeker's data suggested that those opting for a studio or bachelor apartment in Vancouver only paid an average of $146 less per month than those living in a one-bedroom place. In that category, Yellowknife was again the most expensive city, but Vancouver had the second highest rate.
The least expensive bachelor apartments in the cities where data was available were in Saguenay, Que. The lowest rates in B.C. were in Abbotsford, at an average of $619 per month.
Those looking for more space paid an average of $1,636 for a two-bedroom in Yellowknife, and $1,450 in Vancouver.
For about $100 less, renters could find themselves in a two-bedroom place in Richmond or Burnaby. Average rents in the Toronto area in this category were similar to Vancouver's suburbs.
Vancouverites spent an average of $1,631 renting three-bedroom apartments, the data showed. The rate was higher in Richmond at $1,644 per month.
Three-bedroom averages were higher in Kingston, Ont. and Yellowknife, according to RentSeeker's numbers.
Low vacancy rates in most of B.C.
Despite the data, many renters end up paying much more than the average, particularly in a city like Vancouver with a vacancy rate of less than 1 per cent.
In fact, data published by listings site PadMapper on Thursday showed the median price landlords were asking for in Vancouver in November was $1,800 for one-bedroom units.
The median was $1,500 in Toronto and $1,220 in Victoria. Kelowna also made the country's top 10 on that site with a median of $960.
A major cause for soaring rent is vacancy rates, which were lower than 2 per cent for one-bedroom apartments in all but one of the B.C. cities that RentSeeker looked at.
Surrey and Victoria had a rate of 0.5 per cent for one-bedrooms, Burnaby and Kelowna had a rate of 0.8, Langley had a rate of 1.4, Richmond was 1 and Saanich was 0.3.
The only city examined with a higher rate than Langley's was Fort St. John, with 34.8 per cent vacancy.
The numbers vary slightly depending on the size of apartment. For example, in Abbotsford and Kelowna the vacancy rate for bachelor apartments was 0.0 per cent, while Richmond had a rate of 2.5 and Victoria had a rate of 0.4.
Renters would have the best chance of finding a two-bedroom apartment up north (28.2 per cent vacancy in Fort St. John), with rates below 1 per cent in the Lower Mainland, Kelowna and the capital.
For three-bedroom apartments, the highest vacancy rates of the B.C. cities RentSeeker looked at are in Vancouver at 1.4 per cent. Rates are 0.0 in Abbotsford-Mission, Kelowna and Saanich.
Data from Fort St. John and Langley was not available.
View the graphic in a larger size here.